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WURTS MAGNA CHARTA provided a brief accounting of the feudal headquarters of some of the Magna Charta Barons. Some of the castles have been badly damaged. Some have disappeared entirely. Often we can learn of them through Medieval and Renaissance accounts, and some of them require the discerning eye of the archeologist. Others await the evidence brought out with a shovel and pick, by the trained archeological historian.
A portion of the information concerning Surety Baron HENRY de BOHUN is as follows:
HENRY de BOHUN, the Surety, was born before 1177. He became the first Earl of Hereford of this family, for he was so created by the Charter of King John, dated 28 April 1199. Even though he took the Barons' side against the King, on becoming Earl of Hereford he had promised that he would never make any claim against John or his heirs, on the basis of a Charter given to his great uncle Roger by Henry II. The office of Lord High Constable of England he inherited from his father, but he seems to have played no other active part in John's government. As he took a prominent part with the Barons against King John, his lands were confiscated, but he received them again at the granting of Magna Charta. Having been excommunicated along with the other Barons, he did not return to his allegiance on the decease of King John, but became one of the commanders in the Army of Louis the Dauphin, at the Battle of Lincoln, and was taken prisoner by William Marshall. After this defeat he joined Saire de Quincey and other Magna Charta Barons in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1220, and died on the passage 1 June 1220. His body was brought home and buried in the chapter-house of Llanthony Abbey in Gloucestershire.
His wife, Maud FitzGeoffrey, was the daughter of Geoffrey FitzPiers, Baron de Mandeville, and his first wife, Beatrix Saye.
The name of Bohun suggests Hereford. Unfortunately, Hereford Castle no longer exists. It was built in 1048, and apparently consisted of a moat and bailey. The mound has been leveled to the ground, but the bailey is outlined by high banks. One report has it that all that remains is a platform and a piece of a ditch.
The Castle was once situated near the present Bishop's Palace. It was seriously battered in an attack in 1055, but it was restored, and was again in use in 1067. The site which it now occupies is a public garden, gay with shrubbery and flowers. An ornamental lake indicates where once was the moat, but the outlines of the walls are shown only by grass covered ridges.
Appreciation is expressed to Reed M. W. Wurts, one of the Heralds of the Society for furnishing the Barons Shield on this page.